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Robbie Rotten

Kaashmii Owwssyde, How Bow Dah

15 posts in this topic

As usual, Varina somehow felt that she'd been cheated, while still knowing somewhere near the back of her consciousness that this was basically her fault. Damn sure didn't feel that way though. But nothing felt fair when you woke up in the bathroom of a bar, chained to the sinkpipe with your own pair of shackles, penniless, unable to remember how you got here, and with a splitting headache. Well, it wasn't entirely true that Varina couldn't remember how she got here. She remembered going into this bar and she remembered ordering drinks. What was missing, was the transition from the bar to the bathroom, although previous experience allowed her to make some educated guesses about that. The really puzzling thing was the headache--Varina wasn't used to getting hangovers, side benefit of being an unnatural, and all. Another side benefit was the ability to shift the forefinger on her un-shackled hand into a long, thin talon, perfectly shaped to pick the lock on the shackles, something that was plenty familiar with by dint of these being her shackles.

After using that particular side benefit to free herself from the floor, Varina stood up and took stock of herself in the mirror, which was cracked and streaked with a bit of black blood. The view was still good enough to make out, though, and it was about what she expected. Her cloak had a new rip in it, her face had a healthy bruise on one cheek and a trail of dried blood running from the peak of her hair down over her nose (that explained the headache--not a hangover after all), and her hair looked like she'd just taken one hell of a turn in the sack. Varina knew it was probably violence that did this, though, not sex. Yep, she'd definitely gotten into a fight. Well, that happened sometimes. Thing being that she was used to winning fights, but of course she didn't used to have to hold back, either. Things were a bit different now after her trip to the south sea.

Varina pocketed her handcuffs and sheepishly poked her head out of the bathroom, one red eye visible as she scanned the floor of the bar outside. No one batted an eye--it was still pitch black outside, and she didn't recognize any faces. Did she wake up before morning, or sleep all the way through the next day into the next night? Well, there was one easy way to find out, go to the bartender and see if she recognized that person, since they were guaranteed to be the same guy if it was still the same night. The small girl drew her dark cloak around her and pushed out of her makeshift drunk tank, glancing over her shoulder to the "OUT OF ORDER" sign that had been hastily scrawled together and pasted on its door as she passed. Might as well leave that there for now..... if she managed to puke into that toilet, best not to have anyone using it until she was too far away to be blamed. Keeping her head down and slipping nimbly between the shifting bodies, she made her way to the bar without notice, and saw that it was indeed someone she didn't recognize. Whether that was good or bad, she wasn't sure. Probably best to play it cool for now.

"Hey, uhh....." Varina said awkwardly, sidling up to the bar and trying to appear casual as she leaned on it with one elbow. "Pour me a stout, yeah?"

The bartender, a middle-aged woman who looked like she didn't get enough sleep, eyed Varina with suspicion.

"You got coin?" the bartender asked.

"Umm. I'll open a tab?"

"Sorry, no can do. Boss said no tabs after what happened last night."

"Oh? Well, err, what happened last night?"

"Said some unnatural girl came in, got drunk off her arse on a tab, tore the place up, then didn't even have enough to pay for the drinks. When he tried to bring her in, she grew these huge arms and threw him off, then ran and locked herself in the bathroom! Can y'believe that? If it were up to me, we wouldn't allow freaks and mutants in the city at all....."

"Is that so? Man, that sounds like a, yeah, a real pain in the ass...... well look, do you know anyone who can take me to Irie Isle? Like, I dunno, a guide or something?"

"Tryin' to go to the lonely isle, huh? Dunno what for, there's naught out there, but that's your business I s'pose. Well, if you're the type what tolerates unnaturals, there's a fellow over there with a nice pair o' wings on him, heard he's a mercenary. Might give him a quick talkin' to, nah? Might not know the way, but I'll wager he could fly ya over the lake and the mountains, leastways. Should be careful 'round those folk, though. They got no sense, I tell ya, if they ain't human....."

"Okay, thanks."

Varina turned and followed the barkeep's gaze to this winged mercenary fellow, easily spotting him as big white feathery wings did tend to stand out a little bit. That was the guy? She gulped and unconsciously brushed a few strands of wild hair away from her eyes. He was tall, and he was at least a bit like her in his possession of a deviant physiology..... and he was hot. Varina was not exactly looking her best right now. Of all the times to slam down a few drinks, this would've been it, but of course she had to do the smart thing and have "one last good run" before going out to the island. Yeah, good going on that one. Her pride told her to just walk on out of here and find another way. This wasn't just some random score that she could easily pass on, though. This mattered to her. Like it or not, she needed to get to that island. So it was that she sauntered over to him, managing to look absolutely everywhere except into his face.

She was a little bit terrified of the expression she might see on that handsome face if she did look at it.

---

@Mickey Flash

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As soon as Shaym had walked into the bar the stares began.  He was used to being stared at.  Usually by the women, giving him hot looks of desire.  The stares in this bar had a different vibe.  One of nervous fear.  One of the waitresses looked at his wings and blanched.  This was puzzling to the sensual being, as he came here to enjoy the admiration of the females and possibly pass the time in a most enjoyable way with one.... or two..... or more of them.  Instead he was faced with fear.  This did not please him.  He would ask why the fearful looks, but he knew that he wouldn't get a straight answer.  So he sat at a table and waited to be served.  He waited and waited.  Just when he thought he wouldn't be waited on he was approached by a female. 

"Finally!" Shaym said with a disgruntled sneer.  He turned to the female and his eyes took her in.  She was small.  Well, small compared to him.  Her dark hair hung over her eyes, hiding half her face.  She seemed to be holding her arm close to her.  He didn't know if it were a habit, or if she had hurt it somehow.  It wasn't his concern.  Right now his only concern was getting a drink and a little bit of information.  "Sweetheart, I've been waiting here for almost an hour.  Service here sucks ass, if you don't mind me saying so.  I'd like a cold beer."  Before she could leave to fill his request he also mentioned, "Oh, and could you possibly tell me what has all the people here spooked, and looking at me like they're afraid I'm going to bite their heads off?  I know the wings aren't usual, but.... damn.  There's just wings.  I doubt my appearance is the only reason they are acting so funny."  He threw a couple silver coin on the table, being generous considering the amount of time he'd had to wait.  He drummed his fingers on the table, waiting impatiently for the little waitress to respond to him.

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The wing-man's reaction, at first, was better than Varina could have hoped for. His pissed-off demeanor sounded like it would fit with hers perfectly, and he even called her sweetheart! Had she somehow managed to catch his eye despite her tattered appearance? Then she realized that he was talking like that because he thought she was a barmaid.

Oh.

Ordinarily this would be the part where she punched him in the nose for that, but circumstances were not ordinary, not even ordinary by Varina's standards. One, she needed his help. Two, he'd just laid down some coin for her. Three, the last thing she needed to draw attention to herself here for a second time, or she might get herself into some kind of fresh trouble, which she was presently not in the mood for. And four, the guy was hot, despite the unnatural wings growing out of his back. No..... the wings were pretty, Varina thought. He was hot at least in part because he had a big pair of angel wings. Given her own background and condition, she couldn't help but be drawn to the exotic and unnatural in her mate selection. Now wasn't the time to be thinking about that, though. There was another primal desire on the table right now: Money.

Varina snatched up the silver coins and wordlessly shuffled away from the table, bowing her head a bit as she still did not quite dare to look the man in the eye. The mission now was to keep the money and get the guy's help somehow. That meant she'd have to bring him his drink without using the coin he'd just given her to pay for it..... luckily, Varina was something of an expert at not paying for things. Slipping nimbly between different groups of drunken revelers, she soon spotted an unattended cup, with only a single sip taken from it before its owner made the mistake of setting it aside for a moment. He only looked away from it for a few seconds, but that was enough; like a snake striking from the brush, Varina whipped a hand out and drew the drink safely inside of her cloak, using her unnatural speed and reflexes to steal the drink in the blink of an eye without spilling a single drop.

Using her abilities for such mundane matters always amused her. She smirked to herself as she listened to the guy whose drink she had just pilfered start to argue with someone else behind him, mistakenly assuming that other random person to be the one who had taken his drink, since Varina herself was halfway back across the room by now. So it was that she returned to Shaym's table with a cold beer for him and two silver coins jingling together for her. Her confidence slightly lifted by the successful ploy, small matter that it may have been, Varina slowly lifted her chin to look at the much taller individual standing across the table from her.

"Umm..... ehh....."

She gulped to clear the lump in her throat. He was really attractive. It was too late to look away now, though. Varina's one red eye remained locked on his deep, striking ones as she struggled with her words for a moment. Unfortunately, she wasn't quite as good at talking as she was at stealing, but after a moment she managed to come through.

"Ahh! Right, uhh! My, er, my shift just ended. Yeah! O-off duty now, heh heh..... no more bar tending for me....." she started awkwardly. "So, this is gonna be a weird question, but..... you wouldn't, um, know the way to Irie Isle, by any chance? Would you?" she continued, her voice picking up a bit as she got into the rhythm of the lie. "My--my supervisor there," she added, thumbing over her shoulder to the actual bartender whom she'd spoken to a few moments ago, "she told me you're, like? A mercenary?"

Like, a mercenary? What was she, twelve? Varina's cheeks tinged with red at her own stupid way of speaking, and she looked shiftily aside as she waited for the wingman's reply.

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What Varina didn't know was that as soon as she'd scooped up the coin and left Shaym he'd watched every move she'd made.  He had no one to talk to here.  No lady friends offering to sit on his lap, sad to say.  And no distractions.  This made Varina his number one interest, because she was the only person to have approached him since he'd come inside the building.  She was also holding his coin, which made her an investment of sorts.  He watched as she'd pilfered someone else's drink, and pocket his coin.  He smirked a little, reminded of his old travelling companion, Toad.  Toad used to play tricks like that all the time.  And he had no shame about it, cackling evilly as he got away with whatever mischievousness he could get away with.  Shaym had a great affection for the horrid little green creature.  This female was not Toad, however.  She hadn't earned any such affection from him.  Now that he could see that she wasn't above trying to cheat him, he knew he wouldn't be able to trust her.  He would use the human saying, as far as he could throw her, but he had a feeling he could probably throw her petite frame a very far distance. 

He did find her stuttering and stammering amusing though, and kind of cute.  Her ability to deceive was pathetic.  He could tell she was lying straight away.  So, she didn't work here.  She wasn't a waitress.  And the bartender was definitely not her "supervisor."  The only things that had a ring of truth to them, were her interest in this Irie Isle place and the fact that he was a mercenary.  This was a mystery, and Shaym felt the first stirrings of curiosity over this little mystery. 

Shaym motioned to the girl, leaning in closer to her as she finished the word 'mercenary.'  He wrapped his left wing around her, hiding her from view of the rest of the tavern.  His hand snaked around her middle, as he said, "Come closer, my pet.  I can't hear you stammering and whispering that far away."  He pulled her closer, tugging insistently.  If she pulled away he would let her go, but soon pull in closer to her still.  He put his lips close to her ear, letting her feel his hot breath fan across the shell.  "What could you be wanting with a mercenary, my pet?  Did you want me to kill someone for you in this Irie Isle?"  He didn't want others to overhear.  The business of killing was a private thing, and best not discussed in open public places.  But she had chosen to ask him about his mercenary skills here, and Shaym didn't always get to choose where to conduct business.  His hand snaked around her middle, fingers splayed over her stomach as his wing enfolded her in his own makeshift curtain of privacy.  He turned his attention to his stolen brew, and gulped down a swallow or two as he waited to hear her business proposal. 

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Varina gasped in surprise as the man wrapped his arm around her and drew her in close. This was another moment where normally she might have punched a guy (not for accosting her physically, mind, but for referring to her as "his pet"), yet made an exception due to the particular circumstances surrounding this specific guy. She could totally be his pet, she thought--for the moment she was just happy that he hadn't laughed at her, made fun of her tripping over her words, or done anything else overly judgmental. Aggressive and physical she could do, but scorn and condescension she wouldn't have been able to weather nearly so well. A shiver went up Varina's spine as Shaym's lips brushed her ear and his fingers pressed into her belly; she instinctively placed one small hand atop his larger one and cradled his forearm with the other. The girl made no attempt to escape the little "booth" that Shaym had pulled her into, although she did wonder why he was being so sensual with her. Did he notice her infatuation and respond in kind, or did he merely treat every customer this way?

Maybe she'd find out if she could actually hire him to take her to Irie Isle.

"No! No, no killing, uhh....." Varina began, pausing for a moment to collect her thoughts before continuing. For some reason she kept her voice at a conspiratorial whisper, even though there was really no need. It just seemed fitting given the clandestine setting Shaym had created. "I just need someone to take me there. For..... personal reasons, yeah. You know, like, private stuff."

Her face would've blushed as she slipped into using that hated "like" as word filler again, but it was already blushing, so she just kept talking.

"Problem is, I'm not exactly very good at reading maps or anything like that. And I'm not really from around here, so I need some help going all the way out there without getting lost. I can offer you, umm....."

One hand left Shaym's arm to fish around in her cloak for a moment before coming back out with his two silver coins in its upturned palm.

".....How much are these two coins worth?" she asked sheepishly.

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Shaym tsked as he heard the girl out, and viewed her meager offer.  It was the two coins he'd left for the brew, and it was obvious to him that she had no more.  He was not the type to offer charity, and he wasn't about to start.  "Let's get one thing straight.  I know those are the coins I gave you.  I know you pilfered this ale.  And I know that you are about 120 pounds of trouble."  He guessed her weight by looking her up and down.  He made a face at the coins.  "I need at least five gold coins before I'll do a job, killing or otherwise.  If you agree to hire me, you will be paying me back.  I'll make sure of it."  His look was stern, and since they were face to face she would get a good look at it.  "And since I have to wait for the payment until after I do the job, I will be requiring something else as well."  He let a few dramatic seconds roll by, "I require a favor from you.  Whenever I wish, and whatever I ask. Under my terms.  You agree to this, and I'll get you to the Irie Isle." 

Shaym had no idea where the Irie Isle was.  He had no idea if he would be able to call in this little favor he was asking of her.  He didn't know how he was going to extract the five gold coins from her either.  He assumed she would steal them off of some poor sap, anyway.  But he was bored.  He didn't see the patrons of this bar becoming any more entertaining than the female before him.  At least she had mystery surrounding her.  At least she brought forth a challenge for him to undertake.  Now he would have to find this Irie Isle, and somehow see if he could take her there.  He was also curious about her reaction.  Would she try to haggle his price?  Would she insist on no favor? 

The whole time his hand stayed locked around her middle, his fingers squeezing and relaxing without him consciously being aware of it.  He was used to women, and being able to handle them whenever he wished.  What he was doing would have to be brought to his attention before he'd become aware of it.

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---

At first Varina felt fearful as the wingman shattered her pathetic attempts at deception, but this was hardly the first time she'd failed in that regard, so she went back to simply being a little bit embarrassed when she realized that there weren't going to be actual consequences for any of her lying. Made sense to her, it wasn't like she lied about anything actually important, she was just trying to..... go with the flow, try not to weird the guy out too much with her, well, weirdness. Ironically, she realized that fumbling her way through those paper-thin white lies probably would've done more to weird him out than just being straight up, if he were the type that was going to get weirded out in the first place. Luckily, it didn't seem like he was. That was why Varina was drawn to people like him, people who were different like her. She always felt a bit of inherent kinship with fellow freaks, regardless of whether or not they returned the sentiment.

"Okay, well then, I'll just..... y'know, hang on to these....." she muttered, returning the two silver coins to her pocket and hoping that he would not want to reclaim what was technically his money. It was at least enough to get her a couple drinks for the road, after all! "Oh, and! I accept your terms! Yes! As soon as I have some gold coins to rub together, I'll give ya five of 'em. And if you ever need that favor, you've got it. Whatever you want..... whenever you want! I'm there!" she said, enthusiasm coming into her demeanor as she realized her goal of acquiring the wingman's aid. The payment was deferred, so the nature or magnitude of it made little to no difference to her. "A favor" was vague enough that the short-sighted girl was happy to agree to it without giving any serious thought to what form it might end up taking, and her looseness with coin was already self-evident.

"Alright! Now, let's! Um!"

Varina glanced down at his fingers, which appeared to be busy kneading her stomach like it was a lump of dough. She found this fondling odd, but didn't mind it nor attempt to stop it--a belly fetish was a new one, but it was harmless enough. Maybe it was a custom of his people to greet strangers or something like that. She had certainly run into weirder things during her travels. If he attempted to apply any serious pressure with those strong fingers, Shaym would find himself feeling like he was trying to clamp down on a sheet of iron as he met the layer of extra-dense muscle fiber lurking just under Varina's scrawny frame. This would tickle her and cause her to squirm a bit instinctively, but in an amused way, not an uncomfortable one. It would be pretty difficult for someone that she already had such a crush on to make her feel physically uneasy.

"Uh, yeah, let's do the thing!" Varina resumed saying, looking back up to Shaym's face. "I'm Varina. Nice to meet you, mister..... ?"

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Shaym felt uneasy when she jumped at the chance to strike a deal with him.  He didn't know whether to feel sorry for her and how overly eager and desperate she seemed, or worry about himself.  He could be walking into a situation where she tried to stiff him, or worse, a job where no one else would help her for some reason.  He would have to keep a sharp eye out around her, because he believed there may be more to this situation than he was aware of at the moment.  He tended to listen to his instincts.

Shaym let go of her waist, not feeling the need to keep her close for a private conversation any longer.  He motioned to the seat across from him and took another swallow of ale.  "My name is Shaym.  Just call me Shaym."  He studied her for a moment, wondering what he had gotten himself into just now.  "Since the deal has been struck, let's get down to business, shall we?  When do you plan to leave for this place?  What would you like to take with you?  And most importantly, what dangers may I be facing?  This includes anyone who might be chasing you, or any other such surprises me may encounter along the way."  He drummed his fingers atop the table, and echo of their soft thud filling in the pause as he waited for her to respond.  The drumming stopped for a moment, as he held his hand up in the air, his eyes squinted closed as if he were pained, as he said, "No judments."  And he wouldn't judge either.  He'd dealt with many different creatures that had done many different things.  He had also done things considered cold and cruel.  He did not feel he was in a position to be judging someone else for whatever they were doing.  But he needed to know what he would be up against.  It could be important for his survival.

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Posted (edited)

"Whoa, too many questions! Let's see, uhh..... I was hopin' you'd know about the dangers and stuff, since you know the way? I mean, right? You really don't have to worry about anyone following me or anything like that. That's not why I'm going to Irie Isle at all!"

Varina's voice didn't stutter here since she was telling the truth, so far as she knew at least. She really actually wasn't going there to evade the law, as she'd been told that some people did, because of how isolated it was. It was also true that there was no one hunting after her head, again, at least so far as she knew. The truth was that she'd committed enough crimes and crossed enough people already in her short life, that there was always the distinct possibility that some enforcer or another was hunting her down at that very moment. But that was a bit too abstract to bother explaining to Shaym, or so she told herself. Almost as if in tandem with her thoughts about how many enemies she'd made, she looked back to the bar to see that a young man was now standing behind it, conversing with the older woman who had been tending it. Varina immediately recognized him as the bartender from last night--they looked like they were talking about something serious, and they were both staring directly at her.

"As for when we leave, how about just leaving now? I didn't really have any other plans today. No need to hang around this dirty old place!" Varina exclaimed, with perhaps a bit more emphasis than was natural.

Now that she had her guide, she had no desire to stay here where they would probably continue to try to find ways to make her pay for whatever the hell she did while she was wasted, if not get her arrested outright. Varina wasn't having any of that, no sir. She could probably overpower anyone that wanted to mess with her if it really came to that, but she preferred not to get herself branded as a dangerous horror worthy of a huge national bounty, which was a distinct possibility if she went all out. Fighting for sport was well and good, but when it came to serious stuff, Varina preferred not to use violence if she didn't have to. Well, when she was sober at least. Sneaking around or just running away from problems was so much easier! She'd already been spotted, so right now she was going to employ the second one of those strategies. Now it was her turn to grab Shaym by the arm, insistently tugging him away from the table and towards the door.

"Hey! Where d'you think you're goin', lass?!" the female bartender called out across the room to her.

"That's her! The one from last night! Don't let her leave!" the male bartender added, pointing an accusing finger at Varina for the whole place to see.

Great.

Two guys at the table next to her reached out and grabbed her under her armpits, lifting her off her feet and easily restraining her, or so they thought. Varina could feel that they were being gentle because they thought she was as fragile as she looked. That was cute, so she only kicked the one of them in the shin instead of the balls, still causing him to cry out and drop her but leaving him with his dignity mostly intact. Once her feet were back on the floor, she flipped the second guy over her shoulder with ease, crashing him back-first onto his own table and smashing it into pieces while also shattering or spilling all the glasses of ale there. Oops..... she'd been trying to get him off her in a way that wouldn't hurt him. Why did that stupid table have to be in the way?! Whatever--the patrons weren't a problem anyways. After seeing that little exchange, no one else was stepping up to try and mess with her, deciding that it was safer to just watch and keep their drinks (and their bones) intact. The real problem was the bouncer who stood between she, Shaym, and the door, a mountain of a man who stood at least seven feet tall. He drew an axe and started patting its haft against one palm, hefting it with just one arm even though it was clearly made to be wielded with two.

No way that guy was gonna go down with a simple shoulder throw.

"Okay, so I guess I forgot to mention something, but it's too late now! You're hired now, so you have to help me get out of here? Don't you?!" Varina asked Shaym, squeezing his arm anxiously.

Edited by Robbie Rotten
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Shaym took a moment after watching all this unfold to decide if he really wanted to get involved.  Yes, it was a job.  And he did agree to do it.  But the money was just a promise by a thief, not actually in his hand.  He didn't have to commit to this, if he decided he didn't want to.  The thing that kept him in place was the way the girl fought.  She was taking down the males with ease, not even using a fraction of her muscle.  Shaym could tell.  He was now curious on what she was.  She couldn't be human.  They were too weak to be able to perform such feats.  When she clung to him like a vine and asked for his help, he wondered why.  It was obvious she could take the rather large human male at the door.  She didn't seem to want to though.  Or maybe her strength had left her for some reason.  Shaym was curious enough to decide to help her out, if only to find out the mystery of what she was. 

The human male was bigger than Shaym.... but that didn't matter.  His ability to heft an ax did not impress Shaym in the least.  He didn't see this guy as a threat, but more of a slight obstacle that was easily overcome.  He walked up to the human, still feeling the squeeze and pull of the girl's fingers grasping his arm.  He stood there, saying nothing.  Waiting.  The male frowned, then growled low as if he had been threatened.  Shaym didn't even blink.  The human apparently thought that Shaym should be scared, for he tried to swing the ax around.  He made as if to use it, swinging it close in Shaym's direction.  Quicker than the naked eye could see, Shaym reached out and snagged the handle of the ax from the human.  He jerked the weapon from his hand, and began to casually swing it around.  The large human looked startled, and a bit strained.  His eyes followed the ax as if hypnotized.  Shaym swung it closer and closer to the human, and he began to step back out of the way of the swinging ax.  Soon his back hit the wall of the inn, his eyes huge and sweat dripping down the side of his face.  Shaym swung the ax one last time with force.  It embedded in the wall beside the human's head, missing his ear by a hair.  The force of the swing buried the ax almost all the way through the wall.  It would not be easy to remove.  Shaym still said nothing, but looked at the human.  He waited a moment, and when the human just stood there in fear he turned to the door of the inn.

He crooked his elbow in the girl's direction, indicating that she take it.  "Well, are you coming?" 

Shaym didn't mention the fact that he had no idea where this Isle was, or even remember the name that she'd given him.  He didn't have a clue how to get her there.  But he would find out.  This was what he did.  And he was surprisingly good at it.  The only worry he had was if he would actually get paid by the little vixen.  And how much more trouble he'd encounter while in her company.

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Well, that worked out better than expected. Varina had figured by Shaym's unflinching calm throughout the whole situation that he would be able to handle anything in this room, but she had still feared that they might have to actually fight, at least a little bit. This made everything easier! She accepted Shaym's arm gratefully and tugged him out of the bar, assuming he didn't just fly on out in tandem with her. She could feel the eyes of the bartenders drilling holes into her back as she made her escape, but they could go fuck themselves. She was free! She would definitely be known to the guards in this city now, but that didn't matter when she'd be out of this bitch by sundown. How far was it to Irie Isle, she wondered? She had looked at where it was on a map in an inn, but she couldn't read the little symbols that meant how far away things were from each other, so she had no idea if it was ten miles or ten thousand. Maybe it was only a day's run away. That would be great!

Varina felt a bit exhilarated, she had something to do that gave her some sense of purpose besides just random bouts of self-destructive behavior, she had basically gotten out of jail free, and she had a companion that could actually keep up with her, not to mention how much of a looker he was. The fact that he was keeping her company for free didn't exactly hurt her spirits, either. All in all the girl felt better about her life than she had in a long time. She turned to Shaym with a bit of a stupid smile on her face, not fully realizing that she was doing it.

"Wow, you're pretty strong, huh? There must be more to you than just those wings! Okay, I'm ready..... let's go to Irie Isle!" she declared, hugging Shaym about his midsection and pressing her face against his side. At first this action might confuse him, but it would quickly become clear that Varina had done this because she expected him to take flight right then and there, and soar through the skies over the rooftops and out of the city. After all, that sure would minimize their chances of getting stopped at the gates or anything stupid like that!

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If there is one thing Shaym was not fond of, it was to feel restricted.  He peeled the girl off of him with a moue of distaste.  "I'm sorry Pet, but I'm not fond of cuddling.  Why don't you stand over there for a minute, while I find out how to get to this Irie Isle....."  He strolled away from the girl, looking around for a place that hadn't been disrupted by either of them.  So far, no one had come barreling out of the bar, carrying pitchforks and torches.  That could change soon.  He found a nice looking shop nearby and motioned for the girl to follow him in there.  He couldn't protect her if she was standing out in the street waiting for the mob to come get her. 

He didn't check to make sure she followed his suggestion, but proceeded into the shop.  It was filled with supplies of all kinds, things he knew would come in handy for a long trip.  He picked up a dagger that seemed to be a quality piece of weaponry.  He began to gather things he knew they'd need on the trip, like food and canteens to carry water in.  He placed his purchases on the counter in front of a very young and buxom young lady.  Eyeing her endowments, Shaym gave her a lazy smile.  She giggled and blushed, bending over further to offer him a better show. 

"Can I help you, sir?" she asked, her eyes huge as she took in his wings.  She didn't seem to be scared of them at all.  In fact, she seemed to blush more and get all flustered. 

Shaym was more used to this type of reaction.  He threw a gold coin on the counter, which she did not hesitate to grab up and place between her rounded bosom.  "That's for the supplies, and any information that you can give me about how to get to the Irie Isle.  I'm thinking of making a stop there." 

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Varina allowed herself to be removed with a look of slight confusion on her face.

"Really? The first thing you did back in the bar was grab me and put me in your wings and stuff! That's not--wait, you mean you don't even know where the island is?! I thought that's why I hired you! Hey! Come back here!"

She trotted into the store after him, at least agreeing with him in the implicit assessment that they should be off the streets. It was probably not the best idea to be hanging around in any public place this close to that particular tavern for very long, but Varina's need to follow her hired help around (wasn't he supposed to be following her orders?) superseded that for the time being. If guards did come, she could run off pretty easily, but she couldn't get to Irie Isle without this guy's help. Or at least, she didn't feel like going to the trouble of finding some other way, when she'd already invested into this one. Though she was quickly starting to wonder whether she'd invested her attention in the right place, it helped that she had technically not invested anything of real value, just made some vague promise that may or may not ever actually be kept.

The woman behind the counter was inserting a coin into her cleavage just as Varina walked up beside Shaym. What to heck? What kind of shop attendant did that with the money? Unless..... Varina made a horrible realization, taking in the woman's prominent breasts, bedroom eyes, and the nature of that monetary exchange.

"What are you doing?! This isn't the time to go whoring!! Did you forget about our deal? Damn, your attention span's shorter than mine!" Varina chided Shaym, punching him lightly in the side of his upper arm. The shoplady looked none too pleased with being indirectly called a whore, but said nothing. Her inviting expression had cleared up in a hurry during Varina's outburst, as she was probably making all sorts of unkind inferences about the relationship between she and Shaym and what exactly Varina referred to by "their deal."

"Irie Isle? Droppin' someone off that ain't wanted, huh?" the shopkeeper said, giving Varina a pointed glare. "Well, we got maps for sale. Right over there, two sovereigns apiece," she continued, her tone sounding disappointed and dismissive as she looked longingly at Shaym's wings.

This prompted Varina to hop up--for a hop was required in order to bring her head anywhere near Shaym's--and whisper in his ear while hanging off of his shoulder for a second to speak.

"Keep her busy and I'll steal it. But no going into the back room! We ain't got time for that!"

Then she dropped back to the floor and scampered off between the shop's aisles, wondering to herself what kind of weird businessperson had thought up the idea of a combination general store/brothel..... maybe that was just the culture around these parts, people picked up a nice fix along with their groceries for the week. She'd run into stranger things on Valucre, that was for sure.

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Shaym frowned.  It was glaringly obvious to him that Varina was the worst type of cock blocker.  How was he supposed to enjoy a tumble now and then when she followed his every move and thwarted his every intent to pillage the ladies' lovely gardens?  He would have to have a talk with her soon about crossing boundaries.  Otherwise, it looked to be a long lonely journey for him in the future. 

He turned to the disappointed beauty, with the gold coin placed away for safe keeping.  He sighed.  "I'm sure the gold coin I gave you will cover the cost of the map, as well."  She sniffed, and it looked like she was about to disagree.  But she got a closer look at his now tired, and stern visage and changed her mind.  She nodded and turned away. 

Shaym made his way to Varina, to see if she was trying to stuff a map in her shirt or some such nonsense.  Before he could see what she was up to, he heard a noise from outside. 

"I think they went into that store!  Let's go boys!" 

Apparently the town had a posse out to chase down Shaym and Varina.  What next?  Torture pits, and gladiator type arenas?  This town was getting less and less friendly, which Shaym was getting real bored with.  He didn't ask the shop lady if there was an exit in the back.  He just made his way behind the counter and into the back room. 

"Come on," he called to Varina, just in case she didn't have the sense to escape like she should.  He grumbled as he shouldered his way past the shop lady, and never felt as she ran a hand down one of his wings to feel the softness of his feathers as he passed. 

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Varina smacked the shop lady's hand away protectively and gave her a suspicious glare as she came jogging past after Shaym. She didn't have to be told when it was time to go, running from guardsmen was almost literally what she did for a living! The map trailed freely from her other hand, the girl having overheard that they would not need to pay for it after all. Even despite this, she began to hastily fold it up as she drew up behind Shaym in the back of the shop. Best to have it stowed away so it wouldn't get ripped or torn on anything--she placed in one of the many random pockets lining her cloak and examined the solid wooden wall in front of them.

"Damn it. Now we're trapped. I knew we shouldn't have hung around here after that business in the tavern! What were you thinking, just walking into the shop next door and feeling up the town bicycle, or whatever you were doing? Of course there was gonna be more trouble right on our heels! Haven't you ever--"

She was about to ask if he had ever broken the law before, but she didn't want to make it sound like she had such utterly routine experience with that behavior as she truly did.

"--Uhh, haven't you ever like, been in trouble or anything?"

That actually seemed like a bit of a stupid question after she thought about Shaym's looks and how he had charmed that woman back there into giving him basically whatever he wanted. He was the exact opposite of Varina; whenever she opened her mouth, she only ever tended to make a situation worse, never better. With his silver tongue and dashing good looks, this man probably was used to just getting out of trouble more or less for free. Man, why couldn't that have been her? Life just wasn't very fair, Varina thought! Oh well, at least he was working for her. That was kind of fair! This wasn't a situation that she wanted to risk trying to talk their way out of, though. Even if Shaym could get himself out of consequences that way, in her own experience, Varina herself would not be so lucky. She could already hear the gang of men entering the shop and beginning to look around. There would be no going back out the way they came, and while they could definitely fight off this random group of men, it was only likely to bring more wrath down on their heads in the long run. Better to make themselves scarce while things were still small enough to blow over without much of a fuss.

So Varina knew what she had to do, and she was resigned to it. She hadn't really wanted to show this to Shaym so soon, but she decided, fuck it, he would have to find out relatively soon anyways if they traveled together for very long at all. She raised her right arm and as she did so the black fabric covering it twisted into a mass of hardened black scales; the limb grew and elongated into a thing twice its original size, with spindly fingers, knotted muscles, and a wicked set of talons. It looked more like it belonged on some kind of hellspawn than on an unassuming little street girl.

"With this, I can make a hole for us. Now will you pick me up and fly us outta here, if I do that?" she asked Shaym, annoyance still creeping into her tone even while she refused to look him in the eye, out of fear that she would see shock if not downright disgust there.

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